Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"All too reminiscent of past TxDOT tactics."

Delisi feeling the heat in House Transportation


By Ben Wear
Austin American-Statesman
Copyright 2009

Texas Transportation Chairwoman Deirdre Delisi, her voice shaking at times, has been on the griddle for about 30 minutes before the House Transportation Committee.

The subject is House Bill 300, the TxDOT sunset bill, and TxDOT’s seeming coalition with the Senate in the ongoing fight over the bill.

House Transportation Committee chairman Joe Pickett and his fellow members are upset that the Senate wants to change much about the bill approved a week ago in the House. In particular, they don’t like that TxDOT officials indicated that if the House version of the bill is approved then federal transportation funds might be lost. That is in dispute, and even TxDOT says it isn’t sure.

But Pickett said the implication to the Senate committee last week was that “the sky is falling,” and that this sort of tactic is all too reminiscent of past TxDOT tactics.

“I’m just feeling that the House has been totally disrespected,” said state Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D-San Antonio, who serves on the transportation committee, the sunset review commission and the conference committee for the state budget. She said Delisi has not come to see her. “I am amazed.”

More to come later on this confrontation.

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